Man and woman are radically different physically, emotionally and spiritually; yet they are designed by God to complement each other. To “become one flesh” combines all aspects of life. It is presented first in the Old Testament (Ge 2:24) and repeated four times in the New Testament, with the idea not only of procreation but of mutuality in meeting needs and as an illustration of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church.
Only in monogamy does the idea of becoming one flesh have any significance. From this broader perspective of union, intercourse includes the exchange of thoughts and feelings. The act of marriage is the highest form of the communication of love for one another and the ultimate expression of intimacy. It provides a language that can express love without words. Indeed, there are no words to express all that is felt. Faith in God is the bond of the marriage covenant; sexual intimacy is the Holy Spirit’s seal.
The quality of the celebration of sexual intimacy depends on the quality of the total marriage relationship. There can be very little fulfillment in the realm of physical intimacy if there is little closeness in the overall union. Since God designed male and female to fit together and instilled within each a desire for the other, no problems are exclusively sexual in nature. Difficulties in physical intimacy are nearly always a symptom of problems in other areas of the relationship.
The attitude of the wife about herself, her husband and about lovemaking will determine her response in physical intimacy. If expectations are unmet or if negative emotions of jealousy, rejection or bitterness exist, physical intimacy will be hampered. Sexual union is not to be used as a weapon or a reward but is nonetheless a rightful need and expectation of each marriage partner (1Co 7:3–5).
Taken from The Woman’s Study Bible